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Telecoms meeting to warn on regulation

Cambodia to join Vietnam event this week that will look at harm caused by regulatory limbo

CAMBODIA’S Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications will be warned Friday at a regional telecoms meeting of the potential for regulatory uncertainty to damage the commercial value of companies in the telecommunications sector, according to copy of one of the presentations.

The lecture by information and communications technology (ICT) consultant Scott Minehane is to be given at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) regional conference concluding Saturday in Nha Trang, Vietnam.

Government has a unique potential for value creation … or destruction.

According to a copy of his lecture on the ITU Web site, Minehane will warn that regulatory management is responsible for between 40 and 50 percent of the impact on the commercial value of operators in the sector. In comparison, optimising prices can impact on just 22 to 27 percent of an operator’s value, and reductions in capital expenditure between 15 and 20 percent, according to a study by business consultancy McKinsey and Company cited by Minehane.
“Government has a unique potential for value creation … or destruction”, his statement says. “Inconsistent, unclear and uninformed policy and regulatory decisions are highly destructive for existing operators.”

The ministry’s Director General Mao Chakrya is to chair the discussion presented by Minehane. Titled “Enabling Environment: Policy, Regulatory and Financial Framework”, Minehane will be joined by other experts to help define the role of governments in developing ICT industries.

The conference was organised to develop a plan to improve ICT connectivity in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. Other topics to be discussed include ICT in sustainable development, institutional strengthening and human capacity building, and public-private partnerships.

In a global benchmarking study of regulatory frameworks undertaken by Minehane for the ITU, operators said a lack of clarity concerning end goals and actions taken without a clear picture of broader commercial objectives resulted in “random, contradictory or self-defeating industry behaviour”.

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